At this morning 6:15 the alarm woke me from a deep sleep and a dream in which I repeatedly failed to time some swimmers. I did not want to get up. But while Gill slept in I pulled on my run kit and new On trainers and headed to the lobby to see who had dragged themselves out of bed for an early morning run. Seven of us gathered there, half-asleep, and we remained that way through 30 minutes of pitch-black hills on the outskirts of Costa Teguise. I could have happily returned to bed, but instead made myself presentable for an early breakfast prior to the days ride.
Day three of the camp, and the second ride took in the north of the island in an anti-clockwise direction. Not my favourite way, least of all when it’s windy, which it was. As with all my reports they come from the perspective of the steady group – we’re putting in plenty of work, just taking the time to enjoy the scenery. Happily Donna was able to escape the poolside turbos and join us for the start of the ride as the route allowed her to spin rather than loading her knees. I kept things together as we headed north on the LZ-1 highway all the way to Orzola where we found Steve waiting for us at a bus stop after he’d gamely given chase to the faster group.
The climb from Orzola to Mirador del Rio is a tough 9km, especially when you somehow lose an athlete. Tim had taken a shortcut across a section of dirt road meaning I did an extra repeat of the top of the Orzola road looking for him; as Gill said: “I needed to get fitter”. We’d made the decision to shorten the route, descending from the village of Haria rather than climbing the mountain, and the sharp hills on the way down from Mirador del Rio confirmed this choice. Legs were tired as we returned to Sands Beach along the LZ-1 highway.
There was time for a rest and some lunch before the athletes had to hop in the pool for a 90 minute swim set. As before there were stories of fun and games in the faster group, perhaps that 5K time trial on day two wasn’t enough.
We’ve shifted to late afternoon swims with the aim of keeping the athletes warm, but an overcast day with high winds kept pool temperatures down. Again the skinniest athletes on the camp struggled to stay warm after a hard day of training, one-by-one they exited the pool while the steady group toughed things out. Despite a few losses the session went well with most covering at least 3K in the pool and performing better than they anticipated after a second full day of training.
Plates were piled high in the buffet tonight – run, bike, swim is good at building appetites. I think we have one more good day in everyone before we’ll need that easy – easier – day to help them recover. Mark has caught a bug from his roommate Rich and rest is the best option – the faster guys may be reliant on maps and Garmins tomorrow. It’s surprisingly hard work managing and leading a camp and Mark has a tough job keeping the faster group in hand, his normalised power from day two was 280W. I consider myself lucky that my group likes to ride friendly.
Tomorrow features another reshuffle: bike, swim, run. The faster group will tackle 135km to the south of the island, while the steady group will aim to repeat another 75-80km in the wind. It’ll be an earlier start to the ride to allow some recovery time before a 4pm swim, with another run to follow, we’ll see how people feel, but perhaps some hill reps.